Friday, February 17, 2006

Booknote: It's Not Easy Being Green

Title: It's Not Easy Being Green and Other Things to Consider.
Author: Jim Henson, the Muppets, and Friends.
Publication Information: New York: Hyperion, 2005
ISBN: 1-4013-0242-4
197 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Quotation books, reflections or meditations, inspirational.

This is one of the nicest little books I have read this year. It is a collection of sayings, quotes, anecdotes, short sketches, and rememberances about and by Jim Henson as well as from and about his work. It features people who worked with Mr. Henson as well as various celebrities. I grew up watching Sesame Street and love the Muppets. I especially liked the Muppet Show; I still do. So, when I saw this at my local public library branch, I had to pick it up. I am glad I did.

The book has five chapters dealing with topics like listening to your heart, determination, and when we were kids. The material varies from short one line quotes to song lyrics to sketches from Sesame Street or other of the Muppet productions. Just to read some of the routines between Ernie and Bert makes this book worth it. The book also features drawings by Jim Henson. By the way, while many people like the song about being green, my favorite is when Kermit sings the song about rainbows ("The Rainbow Connection") in Muppet Movie. I highly recommend this book for any reader wanting to go back to childhood and simpler times as well as readers wanting to find some hope. Jim Henson was a very optimistic artistic genius who had high hopes for the world and lived to make it a better place. So, as a child who enjoyed his voyages of imagination and learned some of his ABC's from his creations, thank you.

Similar books: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers (I have a personal copy of this). Robert Fulghum's books may appeal to readers who enjoy this as well.

There are so many good lines in this book. I would like to jot down some I want to remember.

  • "There are no rules, and those are the rules." --Cantus Fraggle
  • "Yeah, well, I've got a dream too. But it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And, well, I've found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream. And it kind of makes us like family." --Kermit
  • This quote I find very reassuring, maybe because I have not quite grown up and I still see Muppets as Muppets, in other words, I still see the illusions. "I've found that children keep their imaginations a lot longer than parents think they do. Parents are concerned that if kids see that a person operates the Muppet, an illusion will be shattered. But I think kids see us as just people who carry their friends around." --Kevin Clash
  • "The attitude you have as a parent is what your kidss will learn from more than what you tell them. They don't remember what you try to teach them./They remember what you are." --Jim Henson


Mark said...

Thank you for this Angel!

I agree about "The Rainbow Connection"--clearly one of the greatest Muppet songs of all time and one of the best placed.

I'll try to get to this one too someday soon. Sounds like something I could use about now.

Mark said...

This post was a Ringleader's Selection for the Carnival of the Infosciences #25.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Mark: Again, thanks for stopping by. The book is a really quick read if you just go for a read. If you decide to stop and ponder, different story. I really liked the little Ernie and Bert routines, especially the one about Ernie not cleaning the house (if you read it, it will make sense). By the way, thanks for picking this up for the Carnival. I feel awful at times I don't submit, but as of late, I have not had much worth submitting. Best, and keep on blogging.

Mark said...

Hello my friend,

A very special friend of mine gave me this book last Thursday, and I read it yesterday (18 Feb 07). I'll be linking to your review here at the end of the week.

Take care and remember to "Chase the future, face the great unknown."

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Hey, good to hear you got the book. I noticed on your blog you read it, but I have not been able to read blogs very much. Will try to leave a comment when I get the chance. Best, and keep on blogging.